CAMP AGUINALDO, Quezon City (DWDD) – The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Eduardo Año urges more professionals and students to join military reservist programs following the Duterte Administration’s thrust on attaining peace and security, AFP Public Affairs Office Chief Marine Colonel Edgard Arevalo disclosed Sunday, 15 January 2017.
“This came on the occasion of the promotion and donning of shoulder loops and rank insignias of Eleven officers in the Reservist Corps. In a fitting ceremony, 6 Colonels were promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, while 5 Lieutenant Colonels were promoted to Colonels.
“The AFP regards highly the role that the Reservists play in the accomplishment of its mission. They are not simply force multipliers; they are important component and partners in various non-lethal military operations and activities. It is admirable that, despite the fact that they receive no compensation and leaves the practice of their professions for the period that they serve the AFP, they remain committed, dependable, and ready to be deployed to serve on call with due notice.
“These are the qualities of citizen army that the country needs especially in this stage of our country at the threshold of change. We need professionals who shall put premium on national interest and well-being.
These attributes of prospective reservists are not easy to come by but not impossible to find. Hence, the call to serve the nation from among the citizenry to be commissioned as Officers or be enlisted in the Reservist Corps.
“The preservation of the state is an obligation of every citizen. The AFP believes that military reservist programs are good training platforms and opportunities for our citizens, particularly the youth to prepare them in a shared role in nationhood and nation building,” Colonel Arevalo said.
The AFP Reserve Command (AFPRESCOM) is one of the military’s major support commands established for the sole purpose of Reserve Force management, procurement, and organization. Founded in 1993, the AFPRESCOM’s major task is to train potential military reservists through different training courses.
The AFPRESCOM’s enlistment is through the Military Orientation Training Course (MOTC) and the Basic Citizens Military Training (BCMT). Reserve Officers on the other hand are directly commissioned based on AFP Policy Circular 30. Those who are commissioned through this source subsequently undergo an Officer Orientation Program.
Elected officials and Presidential Appointees also undergo commissioning to the AFP’s reserve force through AFP Circular Nr. 03. Incumbent politicians such as Davao City Mayor and Presidential Daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista (who was among those promoted to Colonel) are among notable Reserve Officers of the AFP.
The AFPRESCOM’s recruitment is supported by the Reserve Commands of the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, and Philippine Navy. All of which are also conducting training programs and courses for potential AFP Reservists.
“At present, the AFP has a total of 385,116-strong Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine reservists. Of which, 78,735 are Ready Reserve or on constant alert and training, 292, 427 are Standby Reserve or the base for expansion, support and augmentation for the Ready Reserve, and 13,954 are Affiliated Reserve,” Colonel Arevalo said.
The AFP is also keen on supporting the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) and its drive to instill discipline among the youth. Currently, there are 1,520,704 ROTC cadets in the Philippines. There are 1,258,32 Army ROTC cadets, 831,520 from the Air Force, and 563,352 from the Navy.
“The AFP actively supports the ROTC Program that promotes nationalism and patriotism among the youth. It develops their sense of willingness to render active military and civic duties, during peacetime and national emergency,” states Colonel Arevalo.
“We need to train men and women physically, mentally, and psychologically, by instilling discipline and nurturing the values of nationalism and patriotism making them ready to take on the challenge of being in the forefront of nationhood and national well-being,” Colonel Arevalo concluded. PAO AFP / MCAG